You might believe premises liability claims can be quickly settled in court. But unfortunately, they are typically not. Liability often depends on the type of visitor that is injured on a property.
According to the law, property owners must fix or warn their guests about hazardous conditions and dangers on their land. Even though owners are generally responsible for the safety of visitors, getting compensated for an accident can be complicated.
If you were hurt in a commercial location or at someone else’s home because of a landowner’s negligence, reach out to a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible. A Racine premises liability lawyer could explain what rights you have and what compensation may be available to you.
What Types of Premises Liability Accidents Happen in Wisconsin?
To win damages in a premises liability lawsuit, injured plaintiffs must prove a property owner or manager was negligent by not repairing or warning visitors about a hazard. Common premises liability scenarios include:
- Slip and falls
- Dark stairwells, leaky plumbing, and loose carpeting
- Inadequate security in areas known for criminal activity
- Inattention to an attractive nuisance a child trespasser would find appealing, such as leaving a backyard gate unlocked with a pool and trampoline in the yard
- Failing to contain aggressive dogs
Compensation might be available to an injured person if a landowner’s unreasonable actions caused someone to fall. A dedicated attorney could determine whether a property owner is liable for an accident in Racine after reviewing the facts of a case.
Adult and Child Trespassers
Landowners may not always be responsible for people who unlawfully enter their property without permission, including trespassers. Property owners are not expected to make premises safe for adult trespassers, but they cannot purposely try to harm them. Owners can also sue or fine trespassers if they can prove they damaged the landowner’s property.
That said, Wisconsin protects child trespassers who cannot understand the danger of potential hazards. Landowners must make property safe if they know about hazards that might attract children to their land. There must also be a high risk of injury.
Recreational Use of Property Treated Like Trespassing
Wisconsin Statutes 895.52 (6) offers some protection to landowners who allow others to enjoy recreational activities on their property if they do not charge guests. However, Wisconsin allows landowners to charge no more than $2,000 yearly for recreational users. For example, a landowner might permit one group of hunters to hunt on the property for $1,000 each season.
These recreational users, who are not trespassing because they have permission, do not gain the protection afforded to other invited visitors and are treated like trespassers, with no duty owed by the landowner to keep the property safe from hazards. A knowledgeable lawyer in Racine could explain property liability laws in more detail during a consultation.
Invitees are visitors who conduct business from which the owner benefits. Invitees are owed the highest duty and should be protected against hazards the owner knows or should know to exist. Invitees may be diners, shoppers, or college students.
Licensees also include social guests, such as friends gathering at someone’s home for dinner. Owners must act reasonably to warn licensees about dangers the owner knows about and may even have created, such as a large hole in the yard. Consult a hardworking personal injury attorney to learn more about premises liability issues and determine whether you have a viable claim for damages.
A Premises Liability Attorney in Racine Helps Get You Compensated
Many reasons exist for people to be on someone else’s property, but no one should expect to sustain injuries when they are visiting. You may be entitled to compensation if you are hurt while visiting friends or grocery shopping.
The laws surrounding keeping property safe for visitors, even if they are trespassers, are complicated, and misidentifying visitors can cost you money. However, a Racine premises liability lawyer at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. is waiting for your call to discuss your situation.